If you happen to be a proud dog parent, you’ll probably have a basket full of dog toys. There may be a bunch of tennis balls, a frisbee, and some rope toys, but the majority of toys in the basket either squeak or crinkle.
But why do dogs like crinkle toys? Well, according to some animal behavior experts, canines love to hear squeaks and crinkles coming from their toys because they satiate their hunter instinct. As morbid as it sounds, prey animals make similar sounds, and dogs associate the two.
There are a few more theories related to crinkle toys and the love most dogs have for them. So, let’s get into the heart of the matter and take an in-depth look at what crinkle toys represent for canines and why most dogs have such a fascination for them.
Why Are Most Dogs Crazy For Crinkle Toys?
Most dogs indeed love crinkle toys. But, it would be making a sweeping statement to claim that all dogs share the same passion for crinkle toys.
If your doggo happens to belong to the former group of canines who are obsessed with their crinkle toys, you may question their special attachment to them. So, here are some possible reasons why your dog might adore its crinkly toys.
1. Tapping Into Canine Instincts
Despite years of domestication, there is still no denying that your pet has the blood of wolves in its veins. The love for crinkle toys is entirely intuitive. Wolves are predators who hunt for food, and that prey drive is encoded in your dog’s DNA.
The high-pitched sound that comes from the crinkle or squeaky toy is like a distress signal from prey. It is a sound that excites them. The thrashing of the crinkle toy in your dog’s mouth is your pet’s attempt to ‘kill’ its prey.
As annoying as you might find your doggo’s crinkle toys, at least you have to be grateful for the fact that your pet isn’t ripping apart a tiny animal.
2. Getting Your Attention
Dogs are well-known not just for their intelligence but also for their emotional range. So, it is reasonably easy for your dog to see that you don’t appreciate its crinkly toys. So, playing with the crinkle toy may actually be a diversion to get you bothered enough to want to try and take the toy away from your dog and give them some attention while you’re at it.
It’s the simplest way for your dog to get you engaged and have a small but fun game of tug-o-war with you.
3. Positive Associations
There is a strong probability that the first time you handed a crinkly toy to your dog, the sound startled them. But, after repeated play times, your dog attaches positive associations with their crinkle toys.
The thrill and joy you witness when your dog plays with their toys is not always the work of a single day. Eventually, your dog associates the sound with fun, in a sort of Pavlovian response.
In general, when dogs play with their toys, both the pet parents and pet enjoy the experience. There are plenty of smiles, laughter, and love to go around. Every time your pup picks up their crinkle toy, they get that same feeling of euphoria.
4. Instant Gratification
It is common knowledge that dogs love to chew, and what’s better than chewing on a toy that crinkles? Many pups just love to chomp away at their crinkle toys. Every time the toy crinkles, it’s a signal to the doggo that he’s doing a great job and it’s okay to continue chewing.
Are Crinkle Toys Good For Dogs?
Crinkle toys are a superb form of buccal exercise for dogs. There are, however, many more reasons to tolerate the irritating sound of a crinkle toy. Here are a few of the advantages of presenting crinkle toys to your dogs.
1. Excellent Way To Distract Your Pooch
Some canines love to chew, and when they can’t seem to find a better outlet for their favorite pastime, then your furniture, designer shoes, and cushions take the blunt. But, crinkle toys, especially sturdy ones, provide the best means to distract your doggo’s attention away from household items.
2. Better Dental Health
While excessive chewing signals behavioral issues in canines, it is also true that all dogs love to chew. Dogs experience the world the same way babies do, through their mouths. Chewing prevents tartar and plaque build-up; it reduces the chances for dental illnesses and reduces bad breath in canines.
Your pet’s crinkle toy is designed to keep them busy chewing something that provides better exercise for the jawline, reduces plaque and tartar, and enhances buccal health.
3. Stress Release
Dogs exhibit more destructive behavior when they are left alone to their devices for a long time. Some dogs even suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long. Yet, the presence of a favorite crinkle toy eases stress and anxiety. It is a great way to provide mental stimulation for your dog and alleviate boredom.
Playing with your dog and their toys will generate a stronger bond between you and your dog. Furthermore, when you play with them, there will be a positive association in your dog’s mind connected to the crinkle toy.
5. Instinctual Appetites Appeased
City dwellers can’t take their domestic pets on regular hunting trips to satisfy their dog’s primal urges. But, having a crinkle toy that your pooch can happily chew on goes a long way in satisfying those wild instincts, and all within the safety of your home.
6. Works As A Training Tool
When you play with your dog’s crinkle toy, your dog attaches special value to it. You can use that to train your dog. You can use the crinkle toy as a reward that is offered for playing when your dog obeys a command or masters a new trick.
You should always use positive reinforcement and never negative enforcement. Positive reinforcement trains dogs much faster and establishes a bond of trust and affection between you.
You won’t always have to use kibble or some food source to train your dog. You may not want to do this all the time anyway if you have an overweight dog. For less treats and more exercise with the same benefits, pick up a toy instead!
Can Crinkle Toys Be Bad For Dogs?
Crinkle toys are designed to offer benefits to your dog, but at the end of the day, it is just some material that has been sewn together with stuffing inside. When you consider the power behind your doggo’s bite and the tenacity with which your dog loves to chew, you’ll realize that even the best crinkle toys can’t last long.
So, you’ll always need to be present when your dog plays with their crinkle toys. You have to keep an eye out so that any time the crinkle toy shows the slightest tear or the crinkle stops working, you must be ready to replace it.
Many pet parents who leave crinkle toys for their pets to play with while they are at work usually have cameras in their houses through which they can monitor their dog’s activities. Unfortunately, canines are vulnerable to choking hazards when playing with crinkle toys.
How To Make Crinkle Toys Last Longer
When it comes to the well-being and happiness of your beloved pet, only the very best ought to be used. No, the very best doesn’t necessarily imply the most expensive. If your dog tends to get attached to their crinkle toys seriously, then you need to be on the lookout for durable crinkle toys that are made from non-toxic, pet-safe materials.
Furthermore, it helps if you provide other forms of distraction for your dog as well. It is a great toy for your pet to have indoors, but there is no denying that any activity, mainly where you and your dog can catch some fresh air, has no better alternative.
So, take your pet out for a regular walk, play catch, and arrange playdates with other canines so that your dog doesn’t become singularly attached to their crinkle toy. By doing so, you will even manage to extend the life of your dog’s crinkle toy.
It helps if you don’t allow your pet to get too possessive about their crinkle toys. By keeping playtime short, you will allow your pet to enjoy the feeling of euphoria without becoming overwhelmed. If nothing helps, remember a snack is always an excellent exit strategy.
Adopting a canine is an experience that will teach you both to laugh out loud and be patient in the most annoying situations. But that’s what pet parenting represents, after all.
Your dog needs their toys to keep entertained, and crinkle toys are indeed one of the best ways to bring fun into your dog’s life. But, crinkle toys can sometimes present choking hazards if you aren’t careful.
So, if you want to see your furry friend jump up and down with excitement, you can buy them a crinkle toy. You’ll just have to remember to keep an eye out for any cuts or rips, as that can be dangerous for your pooch.